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I love mushroom soup, but I prefer mine broth-like and not creamy. This wonderful Asian style recipe can be cooked in 8 minutes in the Instant Pot and will not disappoint. (Of course experienced Instant Pot users know that it requires a little time to heat up and release steam as well as cook).
If you don't have an Instant Pot it can cook on the stove top covered for about an hour.

You can make this soup on the stove top too- It will just take longer 


It is the perfect light comfort soup and is full of healthy good for you ingredients. Use it as a starter for a meal or add some cooked rice noodles or brown rice to make it a little more filling.



Our local farmer's market has had a nice variety of mushrooms this week. I bought a pint of shitake and a few large really firm white mushrooms. For the remainder of the soup, I used the vegetables I had in the kitchen .

I used purple cabbage only because it is what I had- green cabbage would work great!


Mushrooms are good for you- they are low in calories, high in fiber, and provide Vitamin D and many other valualbe nutrients. 

Naturally gluten free and vegan, this soup is a good choice for company or for any night of the week. Actually, I sometimes eat it for breakfast which is a custom in many Asian countries.

I used red cabbage so there is a reddish color; you could use green cabbage

Are you familiar with Ponzu sauce? It is a light citrus flavored Japanese sauce which is like a soy sauce. The one I get is gluten free and vegan. Wanajshan Ponzu Citrus Soy Sauce-



Ingredients: 

1 Tablespoon of olive oil or(1/2 cup of vegetable broth to sautee)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thinly in half moons
4 cloves of fresh garlic, diced or 2 frozen cubes
6 shitake mushrooms, de -stemmed and then cleaned with a damp cloth and then sliced
2 very large or 4 medium firm white mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth and then sliced
2 cups of chopped red or green cabbage
2 medium carrots cleaned and sliced
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup of chopped parsley
2 sprigs of fresh sage
small handful of fresh thyme
1/2 ( of your )  finger sized of fresh ginger , cleaned, peeled and chopped ( see below how to peel fresh ginger the easiest way) 
4 cups of good tasting vegetable broth
6 cups of water
freshly ground black pepper 
Add a drop or two of ponzu sauce to taste and a tiny drop of toasted sesame oil to each bowl before serving- or season the soup -this is part of the recipe not an optional

Directions: 
Add oil or vegetable broth to the instant pot and turn on sautee function. Sautee garlic, onions, and mushrooms in the Instant Pot with the lid off for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Switch to cook mode, cover and seal pot- and set for 8 minutes. When done, allow pressure to self release for at least 5-10 minutes and then release pressure according to your Instant Pot's directions. 



 Peel Fresh Ginger Easily                      

Just take the back of a spoon and lightly scrape the ginger.. The skin will come off easily and the ginger will ready to use. Once peeled , it grates easily for any recipe.

Freeze Leftover Ginger: 
If you don't use all of your ginger right away, place the peeled leftover ginger in a ziplock baggie and freeze it. It will stay fresh for about 6 weeks (or more)  and will be available for your next recipe. Also, frozen ginger is easier to cut and grate.




Wanajshan Ponzu Citrus Soy Sauce
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Gluten Free A-Z Blog by Judee Algazi - 5d ago


Broccoli parmesan is one of those recipes that follow the rule that necessity is the mother of invention. 

I went out with my family one night to a local Italian restaurant. Although they had gluten free pizza and gluten free pasta on the menu, I just didn't want to eat a high carbohydrate meal. Being a vegetarian, there was little else I could eat. I asked the chef if he could make me a dish with broccoli, marinara sauce, and cheese. He did and it was delicious!



Eat it as the main course or a side
I liked it so much, I decided to replicate it for myself at home. I simply used one skillet and some basic ingredients. I wasn't that hungry so I ate the broccoli Parmesan as my meal; my husband ate it as a side with a grilled cheese sandwich ( gluten free bread).

I started out with  a sautee of fresh broccoli, garlic, and some chopped tomatoes- added marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese ( vegans- omit cheese or add nutritional yeast)


It is a simple recipe but very tasty- a recipe that the entire family will enjoy and a great way to get family members to eat their broccoli! 


Ingredients: 

1 head of broccoli cut into flowerettes
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tomato chopped
1/4 cup of vegetable broth
2 cups of marinara sauce ( gluten free) 
1 cup of parmesan cheese
olive oil spray
optional: I cut some fresh basil and fresh cilantro from the garden and added in the last minute of cooking to allow it to just wilt- you could also add some pine nuts

Directions: 
Spray a 12 inch skillet with olive oil spray . Add garlic and broccoli and sautee for about 2 minutes then add tomatoes for another 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth and marinara sauce and allow to cook down on med-high until the liquid begins to cook off. Add Parmesan cheese and cover for about 2 minutes to finish cooking. While still in skillet, top with fresh chopped basil and allow to wilt.  Serve plain or over rice or quinoa.

My Notes: 
1. For a more substantial dish , serve it over rice, quinoa , or pasta
2. Vegans- leave off the cheese and its still delicious or substitute nutritional yeast for the cheese!
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Looking for a healthy breakfast ? 
Overnight oatmeal can be highly nutritious, absolutely delicious and extremely convenient, and it doesn't even need to be cooked. You eat the oatmeal cold and creamy right out of the refrigerator- a plus during the summer when the weather is so hot!

Convenience and taste are not the only reasons overnight oatmeal is so popular.

Oats are healthy and may provide many desired health benefits: 

1. They may help lower cholesterol
2. They are high in antioxidants
3. They are high in fiber
4. They may help stabilize blood sugar
5. Assist with blood pressure
6. They contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals

Doctors often recommend including oatmeal as part of a healthy diet.

You can turn ordinary oatmeal into a power bowl by choosing add ins that boost the nutritional benefits.




Choose seeds of your choice



For example try hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, blueberries, kiwi,  black strap molasses, honey, almond milk, dates, fruit, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric,  etc. Just about anything you like can be added to your overnight oatmeal. 




I once heard someone say you can choose health or choose convenience.
With overnight oatmeal bowls , you can have both!

It couldn't be simpler. Just put some oats into a bowl or wide mouth jar, add almond milk, fruit, raisins, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, add some mashed banana or chopped dates and soak overnight. In the morning you will have the best surprise.



One of the things I hate about cooking oatmeal is having to wash the sticky pan. With overnight oats, you get all the taste and all the nourishment without the mess.



So if you have been wanting to add oatmeal to your diet , but hate to cook it- this may work for you!
It's easy and you can make it so many ways. In the past I've made Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal and blackberry refrigerator oatmeal.

If you are gluten free, it is imperative that you buy gluten free certified oats. Read this article:
Are oats gluten free?

Recipe for Peanut butter banana overnight oatmeal

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup of gluten free oats ( I get mine at Trader Joe's)
1/2 mashed ripe banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter or peanut butter powder
3/4  cup of almond milk, coconut milk, or Ripple ( derived from peas and high in protein)
1/2 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp hemp seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional: If you are not vegan add 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt- or if vegan try coconut yogurt

Directions: 
Place the oats in a small cereal bowl or small wide mouth Mason Jar. Mix in mashed banana, peanut butter, nut milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cinnamon- refrigerate overnight. Enjoy in the morning.


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Photos for Wordless Wednesday


 Sunset from our balcony North Miami








Another day storm coming in with the ocean beneath -  watching from our balcony in Miami 
Talk about an ominous sky!! What a storm!! This was 4:00 PM



The dark rain clouds completely engulfed the sky


The still before the storm


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This colorful black bean appetizer is easy to assemble and is both nutritious and delicious!
It calls for simple vegan ingredients like black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, salsa, fresh herbs, and seasonings piled on top of one another on a bed of crunchy nacho chips! Sprinkle with grated cheese ( vegetarian)  and bake for 10 minutes.


These nachos are festive enough for a party or satisfying enough for a simple family dinner ( perhaps with a salad or a bowl of soup).

If you leave off the cheese or (use vegan cheese) and add some avocado, this gluten free meal becomes vegan.

It is one of those recipes that goes a long way and everyone seems to love it!

Mix all your toppings ( except cheese, avocado and cucumber  if using) before layering

When I do not want to use canned beans, how do I make my black beans from scratch? 
I use my Instant Pot of course!! 45 minutes from start to finish with no need to pre soak the beans!
And the beans come out very creamy and tasty! Black Bean recipe in the Instant Pot


Why I don't use canned beans
I prefer not to use canned goods if I can help it. Canned goods often are lined with a chemical called BPA which is banned in many countries ( not USA) because of it's strong link to cancer. In addition, cans are made of aluminum and that too gets into our food. Some studies have linked aluminum to alzheimers disease

So the Instant Pot is the perfect solution . It's well worth the investment and I LOVE IT!!
I use it for soups like my easy lentil soupa dozen hard boiled eggs in 5 minutes and then the peel slides right off- or my mashed cauliflower 

Nachos are the perfect summer meal when so many of these vegetables are in season!

This is the one I use: Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer



Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes


Ingredients: 
2 cans black beans, drained well ( or 4 cups of cooked black beans- drained well)
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 yellow or red peppers, seeded and diced
1 cup of sliced black olives
2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
1 8 ounce container of pico de gallo ( or any chunky salsa) ( I used Sabra brand) mild or spicy
2 cups of shredded chedar cheese or ( pizza blend works well)
1 bag of non GMO gluten free, chips ( I use black bean or blue corn chips)
optional toppings: diced avocado, corn, diced red onion, cilantro


Directions: 
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Use a 3 qt  rectangular pyrex baking dish
Layer baking dish with half of the chips. Add 1/2 of the black beans, olives, tomatoes, peppers, pico de gallo ( or chunky salsa) and spread around. Top with 1/2 of the cheese and then repeat the layers. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese is nice and melted. Add chopped cucumber and optional avocado to the top.


 Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.

Disclaimer:I am an affiliate for Amazon . If you click on a link from this blog and make a purchase on Amazon, I will receive a small compensation at no additional cost to you. This helps me defray the cost of running a blog. I appreciate any purchases you make.
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We had  delicious Moroccan appetizers and dinner at Casablanca restaurant in Warrington/Warminster Pennsylvania near Doylestown, Pa.
Casablanca is neatly tucked away off Route 611



We were looking for someplace different to celebrate my husband's big birthday! The grandkids are ages 2, 7, and 11. I wanted somewhere that was casual and the kids could move around a little, something a little exotic, and something that could accommodate both my vegetarian and gluten free needs. Casablanca seemed to be the perfect place.




In addition to their regular meat menu, they offer a full vegetarian alternative menu. The dinner is an 8 course meal with many entree choices. Although I could not eat all of the vegetarian choices because they were not gluten free, I still had plenty to choose from. Many but not all were gluten free.

The appetizers were my favorite part of the meal-
The appetizers included Moroccan carrot salad, eggplant salad, chopped vegetable salad, and humus
My recipe for Moroccan carrot salad   My recipe for Lebanese eggplant salad


They served all my food on a separate plate
Since everything is served family style, they brought a separate plate of everything for me to keep it safe from cross contamination from my bread dippers! I was impressed how knowledgable they were and careful about gluten free. I brought my own gluten free chips and romaine lettuce leaves for dipping.


I could not eat the 3rd course but could all the other courses except for the baklava -

In addition to the appetizers, I had vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, vegetable kabobs, majeedera ( lentils and rice) , salad,  and a chickpeas, raisins, and rice medley and falafel ..

lentils, vegetables, string beans in sauces, and rice

stew of carrots, chick peas, parsley, rice and a large potato in a vegetable juice


I was stuffed by the time they brought out a fresh fruit basket and mint tea- 

If you live near or around Philadelphia - it is a fun place for dinner


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Spring is the most beautiful time of the year in Bucks County, Pa.
The weather is finally warmer, the flowers are budding everywhere, and people are out and abound.

I took some beautiful shots of the colorful flowers all around my neighborhood. 
These peonies are in front of my house


This is a neighbor's house- the rhododendrons almost cover the house 


close up of a peony











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I like to shop at yard and garage sales. I find it therapeutic and so relaxing. Why?


Yard and garage sales take me into close-by neighborhoods where the flowers, shrubs, trees, and landscaping are in full bloom. Everything is colorful, prolific, and so fragrant. It's simply beautiful to just take the time to ride through the neighborhoods and take in the beauty as a locate my destination.



Believe it or not garage sales take us back to the days when neighbors actually interacted- I look around for a bargain, chit chat a little,  and relax. No one seems to be in a hurry- the sellers are outside for the entire morning, the buyers are browsing and everyone is socializing. The sellers get rid of unwanted stuff and the buyers get a real bargain.

People are so friendly

Usually our interaction goes like this-

As soon as I walk in the driveway- the sellers give me a big "good morning"!

Next, as I look around  and notice thatwhoever is there is talking and sharing -

"oh where do you live"? -" "oh do you know so and so?"- "my daughter's coach lives there", -

" my mother had a vase just like this one"

"this is so cute my grandkids would love it"-

"How much?"- "oh just take it for $5" - "Really? " the entire Barbie Doll House"

"Yes, my daughter enjoyed it for years and I just want to get rid of it"- it's in perfect condition.

"I'll take it..and my grand kids will love it!!" What a deal for $5

Of course if I weren't going to garage sales, I would never just ride around looking at all the beauty- so my bargain hunting has a bright side to it too...I was happy with my finds this week.

all three stands for $2

I Found Plant Stands and Planters for My Herbs
 It's a real money saver when I need something for the garden ( tools, planters, outdoor furniture) .  I find that people like to get rid of things that are in great shape, very reusable, and a reasonable price. This past week was no exception. 

I was looking for a bench, table or some kind of  plant stand to hold my pots of  herbs that I planted on my deck last week. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for , but I did find a good enough solution.




Plant stands $2 for all three- Clay planter $2  Ceramic Mexican planter $2  Total: $6

I found someone selling 3 small metal plant stands that were perfect for some of my plants. The seller wanted $2 for all three- It was so reasonable, I didn't even try to bargain.



They were all in great condition. If I bought them new, they would be about $10-$12 each.
I felt very satisfied with my $6 purchase, brought them home, set them up and me and my plants and me are very happy.

There is something satisfying about getting a deal and value for your money!

I look forward to enjoying some time browsing, getting a bargain, and enjoying nature. Sometimes I even get some ideas for landscaping by seeing what others have done!



YGup- I find yard sales enjoyable, therapeutic, and relaxing!! Of course I live in the suburbs and I visit beautiful neighborhoods!

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It looks like a hot dog-  but is it really roasted carrot hot dogs? 

Looking for a vegan and gluten free hot dog alternative for your next BBQ?
Well first look in your refrigerator for a bag of carrots. 



Yes, marinated roasted whole carrots look like hot dogsand fit perfectly on a hot dog roll ( gluten free of course). Add some ketchup, mustard and even a little sauerkraut and you now have the star of the BBQ- 

Healthy, tasty, easy, gluten free and vegan!



Easy Recipe
All you need to do is marinate some carrots in a roasting pan. Then roast until tender and serve.

The result really looks like hot dogs and they taste good.

My son and his family were visiting for dinner, and I made these cute little hot dogs ( along with a full meal) just to see their reaction.



Kid Approved

My two granddaughter ( ages 10 and 7) couldn't wait to taste them. We put them on a hot dog roll, added some sauerkraut ( which they both love) and they took their first bite.

Surprisingly they were both pleased! I asked the 10 year old if it tasted like a hot dog.
She gave me the rolled eyes and said , "No" - but then added it still tasted good and she liked it!

So there you have it for your next BBQ- If you have a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free guest ( and who doesn't?) you don't have to run out and search for a vegan hot dog ( that is also gluten free for me) !!! Try these marinated carrots topped with sauerkraut, ketchup, or mustard. If you really want to be nice, open a can of black beans to serve on the side or make my incredibly delicious black beans in your Instant Pot. ( no soaking of beans and cooks at 45 minutes) 

I used Udi GLUTEN FREE Hot dog rolls which they stock in the freezer section of a local supermarket. I you can't find gluten free hot dog rolls, they sell other brands of gluten free hot dogs rolls on Amazon gluten free hot dog rolls .

Ingredients; 
8 organic carrots
1 tablespoon honey
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of smoky paprika
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
** I used a Pyrex pie plate to roast

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Steam organic carrots for 10-15 minutes until they begin to be a little soft. While steaming-  mix the honey, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and smoky paprika and place in a small pyrex roasting dish. Remove the carrots from the steamer ( do not over cook- just slightly soft)  and add hot whole carrots to the small roasting dish and mix well. Allow to sit for half hour and then cover and roast at 425 for 15 minutes. Remove cover (or foil) and roast another 5 minutes.

Happy Memorial Day- How will you be celebrating?? 


Sharing on Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.


Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click on a link on my site that takes you to Amazon and make a purchase, I will receive a very small compensation at no cost to you. This affiliation helps me cover the costs of running a blog and I do appreciate your purchases !
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The Carole King Musical, Beautiful, was nothing short of beautifull.


I enjoyed every minute of the story, the songs, and the fabulous cast. 

It is a play worth seeing!


B




Some of Carole King's Songs

Carole King - It's Too Late (Sub. en Español) - YouTube

And don't forget to stop by the famous Sardis for lunch while you are in the neighborhood.



Flowers from my garden in a bud vase that belonged to my mother
Shared on Wordless Wednesday at Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday blog carnivals:
  Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday http://thesimpleyear.com/, image in ing, ClaireJustine linky  and Saturday snapshot hosted by West Metro Mommy  Create with Joy bethere2day nanahood
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